It’s starting to get nasty here. Winter is really setting in. In fact, this was me on Friday after shoveling snow.
Why yes, yes that is snow that actually managed to stick in my hair about a half inch thick from just the time I was out there shoveling. Winter, you are so not my friend. I felt literally like that snowman who comes inside and slowly melts into a child as he eats or drinks something warm. (I forget what the ad is for, sad, no?)
Fortunately, I had prepared ahead. I knew I was going to be cold. And tired. And quite possibly crabby. I know myself well, and I know my normal hot chocolate just wasn’t going to cut it. I went all out with my favorite kind of hot chocolate that I only make on special occasions. It’s that good.
Decadent Hot Chocolate
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate
2 T butter
1/4 c heavy whipping cream
1 t coffee extract (or actual espresso)
In a double boiler or very heavy saucepan, add the butter, cream and chopped chocolate. (Double boiler = metal bowl that fits firmly into a pan that has a couple inches of water where the water doesn’t touch the bowl, ta da!) You don’t want this to burn!
Stir it together as it melts until it become an even mixture. You don’t want to get it too hot, so just heat it until it is mostly melted, then stir until the residual heat melts it. If you’re using a double boiler, have a towel handy to dry off the bottom of the pan as you lift it once this portion has melted.
I have found that rather than putting vanilla into my chocolate baked goods, coffee flavoring is much more powerful. It adds a great depth and dimension, so I use it in place of vanilla in most chocolate items – especially brownies and cakes. After you have the chocolate melted and it’s off the heat, add the coffee flavoring and stir until that is combined.
At that point, the chocolate mixture is ready for use. Place it in a separate container. You can use the same double boiler or heavy saucepan to now scald your milk. You do know that hot chocolate should only be made with milk, right? Place as much milk as you want into the pan and heat it on medium until it’s just starting to steam. Quickly pour it into your mug, and add about 1 T of the chocolate mixture per 12 ounces of milk. Or as much chocolate as you’d like. The scalded milk will remelt the chocolate as needed. I have a nice little Aerolatte that my aunt gave me one year that whips it up nicely, but that isn’t necessary.
Place the leftover chocolate into a sealed container and store it in your fridge for up to two weeks. If it lasts that long. And yes, you may have noticed that this is very similar to a truffle recipe base… in fact, it’s a half recipe for ganache. You people are smart!